Xem Nhiều 2/2023 #️ The Difference Between The Particles “Wa” And “Ga” # Top 7 Trend | Ruybangxanh.org

Xem Nhiều 2/2023 # The Difference Between The Particles “Wa” And “Ga” # Top 7 Trend

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What is the difference between “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」?

You’ve probably asked about it, maybe even compared a whole range of sentences trying to figure it out, but with no satisfying conclusion.

And do you know why you can never get a simple, straightforward answer?

Because it’s the wrong question to ask.

It does have an answer, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story.

Of course, there’s no way you could have known this. I certainly didn’t, and for a long time had the same trouble finding an answer that really made sense to me.

One day, however, when I was studying at a university in Japan, one of my teachers started talking about these things called “kaku joshi”「格かく助詞じょし」, or “case-marking particles”. These are a specific subset of particles that, for the most part, are the main particles we use in everyday Japanese – “de”「で」, “wo”「を」, “ni”「に」, and a few others.

But not “wa”「は」.

As she explained more, it became obvious why I could never get a clear answer. The problem was that instead of trying to figure out the difference between “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」, I should have been asking…

What is the true purpose of “wa”「は」?

We know it defines the topic, but what exactly is that? And why do we use it in some situations but not others?

Understand this, and the choice between “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 becomes considerably easier, while also giving you a deeper understanding of the mindset behind the Japanese language as a whole.

Hopefully this article will help you see “wa”「は」 for what it really is, and as a result, be better equipped to choose between “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」.

Disclaimer: I said easier. Not easy. Not crystal clear, never have to think about it again, but easier. The grammatical concept of the “topic” – which is what “wa”「は」 defines – is completely foreign to English (and most other languages for that matter), so of course it will take time and effort to fully understand. This article aims simply to remove a large portion of the confusion around it. It’s also somewhat generalised to make it more digestible.

Contents The difference between “wa”「は」 and the other major particles The true purpose of “wa”「は」 Comparing our options Sentences with both “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 Key take-aways

The difference between

“wa”

「は」

and the other major particles

What is so special about “wa”「は」?

The “kaku joshi”「格かく助詞じょし」, or case-marking particles, I referred to earlier are very simple in terms of their function – they tell us how the word or phrase before them relates directly to the action described by the verb.

And of particular note:

“ga”

「が」

tells us the subject of the verb; that is, who or what performs the action

So what is “wa”「は」?

“wa”「は」 marks the topic of the sentence; it tells us what we are talking about.

Let’s put that side-by-side for clarity:

“ga”

「が」

tells us who or what performs the action.

“ni”

「に」

tells us the destination of the action.

“de”

「で」

tells us where the action takes place.

“wa”

「は」

tells us what is being talked about in the sentence.

Unlike the other major particles, “wa”「は」 does not directly relate to the action in any specific way. Instead, it tells us information about the sentence (or, more accurately, the clause) in which it is used.

The reason “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 are so easily confused is because in a lot of cases, the sentence is talking about the person performing the action, so the topic and the subject are the same person (or animal or thing).

Let’s look at a really simple example:

Taro bought a book.

Here, the person who bought the book is Taro, so Taro is the subject of the verb “bought”.

At the same time, the sentence as a whole is talking about Taro, so in Japanese, the topic of the sentence would also be Taro.

As such, we could use either “wa”「は」 or “ga”「が」 to define Taro’s role:

tarō ga hon wo kaimashita

たろう が ほん を かいました

太郎たろうが本ほんを買かいました

tarō wa hon wo kaimashita

たろう は ほん を かいました

太郎たろうは本ほんを買かいました

Both of these sentences describe the exact same activity, and are also both 100% grammatically correct. They are, however, quite different.

To understand the difference, we need to understand the true purpose of “wa”「は」.

The true purpose of

“wa”

「は」

As we know, “wa”「は」 defines the topic. More specifically:

“wa”「は」 can be used in place of, or together with, other particles (as well as independently) to define the word or phrase before it as the topic of the sentence or clause.

The topic is basically the thing that we are talking about in the sentence.

But why do we ever need to define a topic, when it doesn’t even exist in most other languages?

Put simply: For clarification.

The true purpose of “wa”「は」 is to clarify the context within which the rest of the actions described in the sentence take place.

What does that mean?

Consider that when communicating in any language, there are two main parts:

Context

New information

We talk or write to communicate new information to others, and we do so with a certain amount of already understood or implied background information, or context.

Sometimes there is a lot of context, sometimes there is none, but it looks something like this:

What we have here is a context bubble, which is defined by all the contextual information we have at any given time. This changes constantly.

Next to it is the new or important information we are trying to communicate. In any given sentence, this new/important information only relates to whatever is inside the context bubble.

We can demonstrate this with a simple conversation in English:

Paul: What did Taro do today? Susan: He bought a book.

When Paul asks the question, there was no pre-existing context – the context bubble is empty. He had to express his question in full because if he didn’t, Susan wouldn’t know what Paul was talking about.

As he asks the question, though, the information in his question gets added to the context bubble for their conversation, which in this case is the person being spoken about (Taro) and the relevant time period (today).

This means that when it comes time for Susan to answer the question, she can just say “he” instead of “Taro”, since the context bubble tells us who “he” is. Similarly, she doesn’t need to say “today” in order for the timing of the action she’s describing to be understood. The constantly evolving context bubble saves us from repeating ourselves.

The same is true in Japanese, but with one small difference. Let’s take a look:

P: What did Taro do today?

P: tarō wa kyō nani wo shimashitaka

P: たろう は きょう なに を しましたか?

P: 太郎たろうは今日きょう何なにをしましたか?

S: (He) bought a book.

S: hon wo kaimashita

S: ほん を かいました

S: 本ほんを買かいました

As before, there is no context before Paul’s question, but as he asks it, Taro is added to the context bubble, together with timing of today – the same as we saw in English.

The difference is that in Japanese, instead of using “he”, the context allows Susan to not mention Taro in her answer at all.

In both languages, the information inside the context bubble doesn’t generally need to be repeated for the message to be understood.

In English, however, certain parts of the sentence need to be included for the sentence to be grammatical.

In this case, “he” is one of those words. It is necessary because English sentences must include a subject (the person/thing doing the action) to be grammatically complete. Depending on the verb, they sometimes also need an object (the thing the action was done to).

There are, however, no such requirements in Japanese, so we can just completely leave out the things that are already known.

This is part of the reason that pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, they, etc.) are far more common in English than in Japanese. We need them in English to form complete sentences without repeating the same information over and over again (imagine a five minute conversation in which Paul and Susan have to keep referring to Taro by name, instead of just as “he/him”…). In Japanese, however, these words simply aren’t needed.

So what does this have to do with “wa”「は」?

Recall what we said earlier – that “wa”「は」 clarifies the context for the rest of the actions in the sentence.

In other words, “wa”「は」 is used to redefine or clarify the contents of the context bubble, or part thereof.

The context bubble contains the background information we need to understand what we are talking about. The topic is basically just background information that needs clarifying.

In effect, the topic is the context bubble, or at least part of it. It gives us a way to explicitly state what we are talking about.

We would do this in situations where we start talking about something new, or when the context isn’t clear or has changed, either partially or completely.

The best way to illustrate this is to compare the different ways that we can communicate the same idea.

Comparing our options

You’ll recall that for our example, “Taro bought a book”, we had these two options:

tarō ga hon wo kaimashita

たろう が ほん を かいました

太郎たろうが本ほんを買かいました

tarō wa hon wo kaimashita

たろう は ほん を かいました

太郎たろうは本ほんを買かいました

As we have seen, we actually also have another option that can be used in certain situations:

(He) bought a book.

hon wo kaimashita

ほん を かいました

本ほんを買かいました

The question is, how do we choose between these three alternatives? Let’s look at each one.

The ‘nothing’ option

We already know that we can use the last option (which doesn’t mention Taro at all) when the context makes it obvious that we are talking about Taro, such as when answering a question that is specifically about Taro. This should be relatively straightforward, if not always easy.

The

‘ga’

「が」

option

“Ga”「が」 is basically the other extreme. It describes the full action literally, with the subject, object and verb defined in full.

This means that instead of using the context bubble, Taro is included in the new/important information part of the sentence.

Remember, “ga”「が」 marks the subject, telling us who or what performed the action, so the effect of this is that a direct connection is drawn between Taro and the act of buying.

Importantly, since it places him in the new/important information part, marking Taro with “ga”「が」 actually emphasises that Taro bought the book. Not someone else, but Taro.

We might want to emphasise Taro in a situation like this:

A: Who bought the book?

A: dare ga hon wo kaimashita ka?

A: だれ が ほん を かいました か?

A: 誰だれが本ほんを買かいました か?

B: Taro bought the book.

B: tarō ga hon wo kaimashita

B: たろう が ほん を かいました

B:太郎たろうが本ほんを買かいました

In this case, B needs to emphasise “Taro” because that is the answer to the question being asked. Taro is new and important information.

This is also why “dare”「誰だれ」 should be followed by “ga”「が」 in the question. The ‘who’ is the information being sought, so of course it is important.

Quick note about this example

After A’s question, the book has, of course, moved into the context bubble…

…so B doesn’t need to include it. Instead, he could just respond:

B: Taro bought it.

B: tarō ga kaimashita.

B: たろう が かいました。

B:太郎たろうが買かいました。

Notice that in English, “the book” is replaced by “it”. The book has moved into the context bubble in English too, but because the English sentence would not be grammatically complete without an object (the thing that was bought), “it” is used to plug the hole.

The inclusion of the verb itself is a bit more optional. Complete sentences need verbs, so whether or not he includes “kaimashita”「買かいました」 would depend on whether or not he needs to answer in a complete sentence. If Taro were speaking with someone familiar, for example, he could avoid using a complete sentence answer and simply reply:

B: tarō (ga)

B: たろう (が)

B:太郎たろう (が)

“Ga”「が」 is optional here, and can help to emphasise that Taro is the person who performed the act of buying the book. It’s not usually necessary, however, when the verb is omitted and it is clear what role Taro played in the action being described (ie. it’s obvious that Taro bought the book, and wasn’t, for example the thing being bought).

The

‘wa’

「は」

option

“Wa”「は」 is somewhere in between the other two.

Where the ‘nothing’ option relies entirely on the context bubble, and the ‘ga’「が」 option doesn’t use the context bubble at all…

“wa”「は」 is used to clarify or add to the context bubble.

We use “wa”「は」 when:

it is not 100% obvious from context who or what is being talked about, AND

the ‘who’ or ‘what’ is not the important information trying to be communicated.

In the sentence…

tarō wa hon wo kaimashita

たろう は ほん を かいました。

太郎たろうは本ほんを買かいました。

…“wa”「は」 is effectively used in place of “ga”「が」 to define Taro as the topic, so instead of putting him in the new/important information part of the sentence, we are adding him to the context bubble:

This difference is everything.

Taro is no longer emphasised, and we are basically putting him on the same level as background contextual information. We only mention Taro at all to clarify that he is the person we are talking about.

In effect, “wa”「は」 shifts the emphasis of the sentence away from the word or phrase it is marking, and onto the information that follows.

Instead of drawing a direct line between Taro and the act of buying, we are referring to Taro more generally. This is a bit like saying, “Speaking of Taro, …” or, “As for Taro, …”, and then describing what he did, as opposed to just directly saying, “Taro did this”.

We could therefore say that “tarō wa hon wo kaimashita”「太郎たろうは本ほんを買かいました」 is roughly equivalent to:

Speaking of Taro, bought a book.

Why do the Japanese phrase it in this more generalised way? Because that’s just how Japanese is. It is generally a vague and indirect language, and, as we’ve seen, even information that plays a major part in the action being described can be omitted entirely if it’s understood from context – not even a pronoun is required.

Although communication in Japanese may be vague, it’s important to note that what is actually communicated (eg. Taro bought a book) is usually just as specific as it might be in English. It is only the words used to describe it that tend to be more vague. As such, important information is often expressed in generic-sounding terms (eg. bought a book), with any other details just being implied by context. Then, if the existing context alone isn’t quite enough, “wa”「は」 is used to clarify it.

Now of course, “wa”「は」 is not only used at the beginning of conversations to define who we are talking about. It is used throughout conversations in many different ways to redefine and clarify the context bubble.

We can see this if we modify our example a little:

Speaking to Taro and Eriko A: What did you do today?

A: kyō nani wo shimashita ka?

A: きょう、 なに を しました か?

A: 今日きょう、何なにをしましたか?

Taro: I bought a book.

Taro: watashi wa hon wo kaimashita.

Taro: わたし は ほん を かいました。

Taro: 私わたしは本ほんを買かいました。

Eriko: I went to school.

Eriko: watashi wa gakkō ni ikimashita.

Eriko: わたし は がっこう に いきました。

Eriko: 私わたしは学校がっこうに行いきました。

Here, if Taro were to simply say “hon wo kaimashita”「本ほんを買かいました」, it would imply that both Taro and Eriko bought a book. Because A’s question doesn’t mention anyone specific, the fact that she is talking to Taro and Eriko implies that she is asking about both of them. In effect, Taro and Eriko are both put inside the context bubble implicitly as the question is asked:

Their answers will apply to this context bubble unless it is changed, so to talk only about himself, Taro needs to clarify this by redefining the context bubble using “wa”「は」:

Taro: I bought a book.

Taro: watashi wa hon wo kaimashita

Taro: わたし は ほん を かいました。

Taro: 私わたしは本ほんを買かいました。

Only then can he go on to provide the information that was being sought, since his answer only applies to himself.

We could say that his answer is roughly equivalent to:

Taro: As for me, bought a book.

Taro clarifies that he is speaking about himself, then conveys the important information.

We can see that Eriko then does the exact same thing.

She redefines the topic as herself (this time replacing Taro), then provides her answer as it relates to the new context bubble.

To be clear, if Taro (or Eriko for that matter) were to use “ga”「が」 in this situation, he would actually be emphasising that he did the act of buying, since this would place him in the new/important information part:

He does need to mention himself for clarity of course, but ultimately, the important information is what he did, not who did it. That is, after all, what the question was asking. The same is true for Eriko.

To recap, we have three main ways to describe a simple action that somebody did:

hon wo kaimashita

ほん を かいました

本ほんを買かいました

tarō ga hon wo kaimashita

たろう が ほん を かいました

太郎たろうが本ほんを買かいました

tarō wa hon wo kaimashita

たろう は ほん を かいました

太郎たろうは本ほんを買かいました

We can say that:

Neither

“wa”

「は」

nor

“ga”

「が」

is needed if it is obvious who/what we’re talking about

“Ga”

「が」

emphasises the information that comes before it as new or important information

“Wa”

「は」

helps clarify who/what we are talking about, shifting the emphasis to the information that comes after it

Now let’s look at some of the most common situations where “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 can be particularly confusing.

Sentences with both

“wa” and “ga”

「は」 and 「が」

Most non-complex sentences (ie. those without sub-clauses) will only contain either “wa”「は」 or “ga”「が」, but there are some that contain both. It is these sentences where the context bubble should start to be particularly handy.

“Wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 usually appear together when we want to communicate information about someone or something, but do so by referring to them in relation to someone or something else.

One common situation is when we describe body parts; that is, we want to describe the body part, but in relation to the person to whom the body part belongs.

Let’s look at an example of this, starting with a sentence where the verb isn’t “desu”「です」:

His legs grew longer.

kare wa ashi ga nobimashita.

かれ は あし が のびました。

彼かれは足あしが伸のびました。

Let’s break this down, working backwards.

First, let’s acknowledge the most important element in the sentence, our verb, “nobimashita”「伸のびました」, meaning “grew longer” or “lengthened”.

Next, let’s remember what “ga”「が」 does:

“ga”「が」 tells us the subject of the verb; that is, who or what performs the action.

So, who or what is it that grew longer? The thing marked by “ga”「が」 → “ashi”「足あし」.

Just using what we have so far, our sentence is:

(The) legs grew longer.

ashi ga nobimashita.

あし が のびました。

足あしが伸のびました。

That bring us to our last piece, “kare wa”「彼かれは」. Remember that:

“wa”「は」 is used to clarify or add to the context bubble.

By adding “kare wa”「彼かれは」 before “ashi ga nobimashita”「足あしが伸のびました」, we are just putting “kare”「彼かれ」 inside the context bubble.

With “wa”「は」, we are clarifying who we are talking about for the rest of the sentence, just as we did before.

Once we have that context bubble defined, we go on to say, “the legs grew longer”. This on its own is a generic statement about some legs, but since “kare”「彼かれ」 is in the context bubble, we know that the legs must belong to “him”. The result is something like this:

As for him, the legs grew longer.

This is obviously very different to English, where we would usually define the legs as being owned by him (his legs), and describe the action that his legs are performing (growing longer).

You can do this in Japanese too, so it’s not wrong to say, for example:

His legs grew longer.

kare no ashi wa nobimashita.

かれ の あし は のびました。

彼かれの足あしは伸のびました。

This, however, isn’t a very natural way to express this kind of idea.

One thing I would like to point out here is that there is a major difference between this sentence and our example with Taro. The difference is:

Taro performed the act of buying the book.

“He” did not perform the act of growing longer.

Yet, both were marked by “wa”「は」 (at least in some cases).

The reason this is possible is because all “wa”「は」 did was tell us who the sentences were about. The important information was something else related to these people. In one case (Taro’s), it was what that person did. In the other, it was an action done by something else (his legs).

Now let’s see how this works with sentences that use “desu”「です」, both for body parts and various other things.

Using

“wa” and “ga”

「は」 and 「が」

when the main verb is

“desu”

「です」

“Desu”「です」 may be a special verb, but in terms of “wa”「は」 and our context bubble, nothing really changes.

Let’s look at an example sentence:

His legs are long. / He has long legs.

kare wa ashi ga nagai desu.

かれ は あし が ながい です。

彼かれは足あしが長ながいです。

We can break this down the same way we did a moment ago, except we need to clarify something first.

With adjectives, such as “nagai”「長ながい」, we should look at this as being grouped together with “desu”「です」 to form a single phrase meaning “being long” or “is long”. If we do this, we end up with a phrase that is comparable to other verbs, such as “nobimasu”「伸のびます」 (grow longer) from our previous example.

If we put them side-by-side…

nagai desu

長ながいです

= being long

nobimasu

伸のびます

= grow longer

This is simplifying things a little, but in order to make the highly irregular verb “desu”「です」 somewhat comparable with every other verb, we will group “nagai”「長ながい」 and “desu”「です」 together to be a single phrase that describes a certain act of being.

So, our action is “nagai desu”「長ながいです」, or “being long”.

Who or what is it that is “being long”? The thing marked by “ga”「が」 → “ashi”「足あし」.

Lastly, “kare wa”「彼かれは」 appears before “ashi ga nagai desu”「足あしが長ながいです」, so just like before, “kare”「彼かれ」 is inside the context bubble.

As always, we start by clarifying who we are talking about, then describe something related to that. In this case, that translates roughly to:

As for him, the legs are long.

Now, let’s apply this approach to a few more confusing situations.

Suki

好すき

,

kirai

嫌きらい

and

hoshī

欲ほしい

Coming from English, “suki”「好すき」 (like), “kirai”「嫌きらい」 (hate) and “hoshī”「欲ほしい」 (want) probably take some getting used to because they are adjectives, while their English equivalents are verbs. They are also often used in sentences that include both “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」, so let’s see how we can apply the context bubble to make better sense of them.

Since they are adjectives, these words all work in exactly the same way as “nagai”「長ながい」 did in our previous example. Let’s take a look:

I like sushi.

watashi wa sushi ga suki desu.

わたし は すし が すき です。

私わたしはすしが好すきです。

If we break this down as we did before, we can see that the same rules apply.

What is the action? The adjective/verb combination “suki desu”「好すきです」, which roughly means “being liked”.

Who or what is performing that action? The word or phrase before “ga”「が」, which is “sushi”「すし」.

Our sentence so far is therefore:

Sushi is liked.

sushi ga suki desu.

すし が すき です。

すしが好すきです。

Lastly, who or what are we talking about? The word or phrase before “wa”「は」, which is “watashi”「私わたし」.

We therefore have “watashi”「私わたし」 in the context bubble, and this tells us who we are talking about when we say “sushi is liked”.

When talking about me, sushi is liked.

We can do exactly the same thing with “kirai”「嫌きらい」, “hoshī”「欲ほしい」, and other similar words.

I hate natto.

watashi wa nattō ga kirai desu.

わたし は なっとう が きらい です。

私わたしは納豆なっとうが嫌きらいです。

I want a new computer.

watashi wa atarashī pasokon ga hoshī desu.

わたし は あたらしい パソコン が ほしい です。

私わたしは新あたらしいパソコンが欲ほしいです。

Again, this is obviously very different from English, where these ideas are expressed as actions that we perform – we like, hate and want things in the same way that we do things. Hopefully, though, you can see how this is entirely consistent with other Japanese expressions, and that the roles of “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 are clear and consistent. They just take a bit (or a lot) of getting used to.

Bonus: The

~tai

~たい

form of verbs

Verbs with the ~tai~たい ending, such as “tabetai”「食たべたい」, also work the same way as these adjectives because that’s exactly what they are. Let’s see an example:

I want to eat sushi.

watashi wa sushi ga tabetai desu.

わたし は すし が たべたい です。

私わたしはすしが食たべたいです。

Here’s what that looks like:

In this sentence, I’m talking about me, and then within that context, I’m saying in fairly generic-sounding terms that the eating of sushi is wanted.

Arimasu

あります

and

imasu

います

The verbs “arimasu”「あります」 and “imasu”「います」 can also be a little tricky, as they share similarities with “desu”「です」 as well as all other verbs. We can, however, apply all of the principles we’ve covered so far in the same way.

Let’s start by looking at an example where “arimasu”「あります」 is used just like any other verb that isn’t “desu”「です」:

Her bag is in the classroom.

kanojo no kaban wa kyōshitsu ni arimasu

かのじょ の カバン は きょうしつ に あります。

彼女かのじょのカバンは教室きょうしつにあります。

The first thing we need to make absolutely clear – just to be on the safe side – is that even though the English translation here uses the verb “is” or “to be”, it has a distinctly different meaning to when “desu”「です」 was used.

While “desu”「です」 is essentially used to equate two things as being the same (A = B), “arimasu”「あります」 describes existence (as does “imasu”「います」).

As such, we could kind of translate the above as, “Her bag exists in the classroom”. We could not, however, change our “desu”「です」 example sentence to “His legs exist long”. These “to be” words mean very different things.

Now, if we put this “arimasu”「あります」 sentence side-by-side with our example from earlier, we can see that they are very similar:

tarō wa hon wo kaimashita.

kanojo no kaban wa kyōshitsu ni arimasu.

たろう は ほん を かいました。

かのじょ の カバン は きょうしつ に あります。

太郎たろうは本ほんを買かいました。

彼女かのじょのカバンは教室きょうしつにあります。

Who/what is performing the action in each of these sentences?

“tarō”

「太郎たろう」

is the person watching

“kanojo no kaban”

「彼女かのじょのカバン」

is the thing that is being/existing

As these are the person/thing performing the action, they could be marked by “ga”「が」, but as we have learned, this would emphasise them too much.

Instead, we use “wa”「は」 to define them as our topic, essentially demoting them to the context bubble. Then, using that context bubble, we describe the important information that we actually want to communicate:

This should be relatively straightforward.

However, “arimasu”「あります」 and “imasu”「います」 are also sometimes used in sentences that include both “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」, and this is where it can get confusing.

Fortunately, our same rules apply – “wa”「は」 defines/clarifies the context bubble, and “ga”「が」 defines the thing that is performing the act of “being” (or, if it’s easier, “existing”).

For example:

I have an older sister.

watashi wa ane ga imasu.

わたし は あね が います。

私わたしは姉あねがいます。

First, we clarify that “watashi”「私わたし」 is in the context bubble. Then, in that context, we describe the older sister as being/existing.

Within the context of “watashi”「私わたし」, an older sister exists.

Here’s another example:

He doesn’t have any money.

kare wa okane ga arimasen.

かれ は おかね が ありません。

彼かれはお金かねがありません。

Within the context of “kare”「彼かれ」, no money exists.

As a side note, notice how the way we express these ideas in English is with the word “have”, not “be” or “exist”. This is further evidence of the indirect nature of the Japanese language. In Japanese, I don’t own my sister, just as “he” doesn’t own money. My sister and money exist on their own; they just so happen to do so in a way that relates to me and him, respectively.

This reflects a broader cultural and linguistic difference that actually shapes the way we view the world. Generally:

In English, people do and own things.

In Japanese, things happen and exist.

I’ve often thought about the chicken-and-egg situation that this represents – did the Japanese culture of indirectness evolve due to the structure of the language, or did the language evolve to make vague expression easier? I suspect the answer is both, as ultimately, language is culture.

Key take-aways

Here are the main lessons I hope you can take from this article:

Particles like

“ga”

「が」

,

“wo”

「を」

and

“ni”

「に」

 define how certain things relate to the action, while

“wa”

「は」

 tells us what is being talked about in the sentence

There are two main things that determine the meaning of what we communicate – context, and new/important information

Marking something as the subject using “ga” classifies it as new/important information, giving it emphasis

“wa”

「は」

allows us to redefine or clarify some or all of the context before stating new/important information

“wa”

「は」

shifts the emphasis of the sentence away from the word or phrase it is marking, and onto the information the follows

Of course, this doesn’t cover absolutely everything. Entire books have been written about “wa” and “ga”「は」 and 「が」 simply because there are so many different variables at play in any given situation.

Hopefully, though, you now have a better understanding of the difference between these two essential particles, and will be able to apply these lessons much more widely than I have here.

The Difference Between The Particles “Wa” And “Ga”

You’ve probably asked about it, maybe even compared a whole range of sentences trying to figure it out, but with no satisfying conclusion.

And do you know why you can never get a simple, straightforward answer?

Because it’s the wrong question to ask.

It does have an answer, but it doesn’t really tell the whole story.

Of course, there’s no way you could have known this. I certainly didn’t, and for a long time had the same trouble finding an answer that really made sense to me.

One day, however, when I was studying at a university in Japan, one of my teachers started talking about these things called “kaku joshi”, or “case-marking particles”. These are a specific subset of particles that, for the most part, are the main particles we use in everyday Japanese – “de” 「で」, “wo” 「を」, “ni” 「に」, and a few others.

As she explained more, it became obvious why I could never get a clear answer. The problem was that instead of trying to figure out the difference between “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」, I should have been asking…

We know it defines the topic, but what exactly is that? And why do we use it in some situations but not others?

Understand this, and the choice between “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 becomes considerably easier, while also giving you a deeper understanding of the mindset behind the Japanese language as a whole.

Hopefully this article will help you see “wa” 「は」 for what it really is, and as a result, be better equipped to choose between “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」.

Disclaimer: I said easier. Not easy. Not crystal clear, never have to think about it again, but easier. The grammatical concept of the “topic” – which is what “wa” 「は」 defines – is completely foreign to English (and most other languages for that matter), so of course it will take time and effort to fully understand. This article aims simply to remove a large portion of the confusion around it. It’s also somewhat generalised to make it more digestible.

The difference between “wa” 「は」 and the other major particles

What is so special about “wa” 「は」?

The “kaku joshi”, or case-marking particles, I referred to earlier are very simple in terms of their function – they tell us how the word or phrase before them relates directly to the action described by the verb.

And of particular note:

“wa” 「は」 marks the topic of the sentence; it tells us what we are talking about.

Let’s put that side-by-side for clarity:

Unlike the other major particles, “wa” 「は」 does not directly relate to the action in any specific way. Instead, it tells us information about the sentence (or, more accurately, the clause) in which it is used.

The reason “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 are so easily confused is because in a lot of cases, the sentence is talking about the person performing the action, so the topic and the subject are the same person (or animal or thing).

Let’s look at a really simple example:

Taro bought a book.

Here, the person who bought the book is Taro, so Taro is the subject of the verb “bought”.

At the same time, the sentence as a whole is talking about Taro, so in Japanese, the topic of the sentence would also be Taro.

As such, we could use either “wa” 「は」 or “ga” 「が」 to define Taro’s role:

Both of these sentences describe the exact same activity, and are also both 100% grammatically correct. They are, however, quite different.

To understand the difference, we need to understand the true purpose of “wa” 「は」.

The true purpose of “wa” 「は」

As we know, “wa” 「は」 defines the topic. More specifically:

“wa” 「は」 can be used in place of, or together with, other particles (as well as independently) to define the word or phrase before it as the topic of the sentence or clause.

The topic is basically the thing that we are talking about in the sentence.

But why do we ever need to define a topic, when it doesn’t even exist in most other languages?

Put simply: For clarification.

What does that mean?

Consider that when communicating in any language, there are two main parts:

We talk or write to communicate new information to others, and we do so with a certain amount of already understood or implied background information, or context.

Sometimes there is a lot of context, sometimes there is none, but it looks something like this:

Next to it is the new or important information we are trying to communicate. In any given sentence, this new/important information only relates to whatever is inside the context bubble.

We can demonstrate this with a simple conversation in English:

Paul: What did Taro do today? Susan: He bought a book.

As he asks the question, though, the information in his question gets added to the context bubble for their conversation, which in this case is the person being spoken about (Taro) and the relevant time period (today).

This means that when it comes time for Susan to answer the question, she can just say “he” instead of “Taro”, since the context bubble tells us who “he” is. Similarly, she doesn’t need to say “today” in order for the timing of the action she’s describing to be understood. The constantly evolving context bubble saves us from repeating ourselves.

The same is true in Japanese, but with one small difference. Let’s take a look:

The difference is that in Japanese, instead of using “he”, the context allows Susan to not mention Taro in her answer at all.

In both languages, the information inside the context bubble doesn’t generally need to be repeated for the message to be understood.

In English, however, certain parts of the sentence need to be included for the sentence to be grammatical.

In this case, “he” is one of those words. It is necessary because English sentences must include a subject (the person/thing doing the action) to be grammatically complete. Depending on the verb, they sometimes also need an object (the thing the action was done to).

There are, however, no such requirements in Japanese, so we can just completely leave out the things that are already known.

This is part of the reason that pronouns (I, you, he, she, it, they, etc.) are far more common in English than in Japanese. We need them in English to form complete sentences without repeating the same information over and over again (imagine a five minute conversation in which Paul and Susan have to keep referring to Taro by name, instead of just as “he/him”…). In Japanese, however, these words simply aren’t needed.

Recall what we said earlier – that “wa” 「は」 clarifies the context for the rest of the actions in the sentence.

The context bubble contains the background information we need to understand what we are talking about. The topic is basically just background information that needs clarifying.

In effect, the topic is the context bubble, or at least part of it. It gives us a way to explicitly state what we are talking about.

We would do this in situations where we start talking about something new, or when the context isn’t clear or has changed, either partially or completely.

The best way to illustrate this is to compare the different ways that we can communicate the same idea.

Comparing our options

You’ll recall that for our example, “Taro bought a book”, we had these two options:

As we have seen, we actually also have another option that can be used in certain situations:

The question is, how do we choose between these three alternatives? Let’s look at each one.

The ‘nothing’ option

We already know that we can use the last option (which doesn’t mention Taro at all) when the context makes it obvious that we are talking about Taro, such as when answering a question that is specifically about Taro. This should be relatively straightforward, if not always easy.

“Ga” 「が」 is basically the other extreme. It describes the full action literally, with the subject, object and verb defined in full.

This means that instead of using the context bubble, Taro is included in the new/important information part of the sentence.

Importantly, since it places him in the new/important information part, marking Taro with “ga” 「が」 actually emphasises that Taro bought the book. Not someone else, but Taro.

We might want to emphasise Taro in a situation like this:

In this case, B needs to emphasise “Taro” because that is the answer to the question being asked. Taro is new and important information.

This is also why “dare” should be followed by “ga” 「が」 in the question. The ‘who’ is the information being sought, so of course it is important.

Quick note about this example

After A’s question, the book has, of course, moved into the context bubble…

B: Taro bought it.

B: tarō ga kaimashita.

B: たろう が かいました。

Notice that in English, “the book” is replaced by “it”. The book has moved into the context bubble in English too, but because the English sentence would not be grammatically complete without an object (the thing that was bought), “it” is used to plug the hole.

The inclusion of the verb itself is a bit more optional. Complete sentences need verbs, so whether or not he includes “kaimashita” would depend on whether or not he needs to answer in a complete sentence. If Taro were speaking with someone familiar, for example, he could avoid using a complete sentence answer and simply reply:

B: tarō (ga)

B: たろう (が)

“Ga” 「が」 is optional here, and can help to emphasise that Taro is the person who performed the act of buying the book. It’s not usually necessary, however, when the verb is omitted and it is clear what role Taro played in the action being described (ie. it’s obvious that Taro bought the book, and wasn’t, for example the thing being bought).

“Wa” 「は」 is somewhere in between the other two.

Where the ‘nothing’ option relies entirely on the context bubble, and the ‘ga’ 「が」 option doesn’t use the context bubble at all…

it is not 100% obvious from context who or what is being talked about, AND

the ‘who’ or ‘what’ is not the important information trying to be communicated.

In the sentence…

…”wa” 「は」 is effectively used to define Taro as the topic, so instead of putting him in the new/important information part of the sentence, we are adding him to the context bubble:

Taro is no longer emphasised, and we are basically putting him on the same level as background contextual information. We only mention Taro at all to clarify that he is the person we are talking about.

In effect, “wa” 「は」 shifts the emphasis of the sentence away from the word or phrase it is marking, and onto the information that follows.

Instead of drawing a direct line between Taro and the act of buying, we are referring to Taro more generally. This is a bit like saying, “Speaking of Taro, …” or, “As for Taro, …”, and then describing what he did, as opposed to just directly saying, “Taro did this”.

We could therefore say that “tarō wa hon wo kaimashita” is roughly equivalent to:

Speaking of Taro, bought a book.

Why do the Japanese phrase it in this more generalised way? Because that’s just how Japanese is. It is generally a vague and indirect language, and, as we’ve seen, even information that plays a major part in the action being described can be omitted entirely if it’s understood from context – not even a pronoun is required.

Although communication in Japanese may be vague, it’s important to note that what is actually communicated (eg. Taro bought a book) is usually just as specific as it might be in English. It is only the words used to describe it that tend to be more vague. As such, important information is often expressed in generic-sounding terms (eg. bought a book), with any other details just being implied by context. Then, if the existing context alone isn’t quite enough, “wa” 「は」 is used to clarify it.

Now of course, “wa” 「は」 is not only used at the beginning of conversations to define who we are talking about. It is used throughout conversations in many different ways to redefine and clarify the context bubble.

We can see this if we modify our example a little:

Speaking to Taro and Eriko A: What did you do today?

A: kyō nani wo shimashita ka?

A: きょう、 なに を しました か?

Here, if Taro were to simply say “hon wo kaimashita”, it would imply that both Taro and Eriko bought a book. Because A’s question doesn’t mention anyone specific, the fact that she is talking to Taro and Eriko implies that she is asking about both of them. In effect, Taro and Eriko are both put inside the context bubble implicitly as the question is asked:

We could say that his answer is roughly equivalent to:

Taro: As for me, bought a book.

Taro clarifies that he is speaking about himself, then conveys the important information.

We can see that Eriko then does the exact same thing.

To be clear, if Taro (or Eriko for that matter) were to use “ga” 「が」 in this situation, he would actually be emphasising that he did the act of buying, since this would place him in the new/important information part:

To recap, we have three main ways to describe a simple action that somebody did:

We can say that:

Neither “wa” 「は」 nor “ga” 「が」 is needed if it is obvious who/what we’re talking about

“Ga” 「が」 emphasises the information that comes before it as new or important information

“Wa” 「は」 helps clarify who/what we are talking about, shifting the emphasis to the information that comes after it

Now let’s look at some of the most common situations where “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 can be particularly confusing.

Sentences with both “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」

Most non-complex sentences (ie. those without sub-clauses) will only contain either “wa” 「は」 or “ga” 「が」, but there are some that contain both. It is these sentences where the context bubble should start to be particularly handy.

“Wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 usually appear together when we want to communicate information about someone or something, but do so by referring to them in relation to someone or something else.

One common situation is when we describe body parts; that is, we want to describe the body part, but in relation to the person to whom the body part belongs.

Let’s look at an example of this, starting with a sentence where the verb isn’t “desu” 「です」:

Let’s break this down, working backwards.

First, let’s acknowledge the most important element in the sentence, our verb, “nobimashita”, meaning “grew longer” or “lengthened”.

Next, let’s remember what “ga” 「が」 does:

“ga” 「が」 tells us the subject of the verb; that is, who or what performs the action.

So, who or what is it that grew longer? The thing marked by “ga” 「が」 → “ashi”.

Just using what we have so far, our sentence is:

“wa” 「は」 is used to clarify or add to the context bubble.

As for him, the legs grew longer.

This is obviously very different to English, where we would usually define the legs as being owned by him (his legs), and describe the action that his legs are performing (growing longer).

You can do this in Japanese too, so it’s not wrong to say, for example:

His legs grew longer.

kare no ashi wa nobimashita.

かれ の あし は のびました。

This, however, isn’t a very natural way to express this kind of idea.

One thing I would like to point out here is that there is a major difference between this sentence and our example with Taro. The difference is:

Taro performed the act of buying the book.

“He” did not perform the act of growing longer.

Yet, both were marked by “wa” 「は」 (at least in some cases).

The reason this is possible is because all “wa” 「は」 did was tell us who the sentences were about. The important information was something else related to these people. In one case (Taro’s), it was what that person did. In the other, it was an action done by something else (his legs).

Now let’s see how this works with sentences that use “desu” 「です」, both for body parts and various other things.

Using “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 when the main verb is “desu” 「です」

“Desu” 「です」 may be a special verb, but in terms of “wa” 「は」 and our context bubble, nothing really changes.

Let’s look at an example sentence:

We can break this down the same way we did a moment ago, except we need to clarify something first.

With adjectives, such as “nagai”, we should look at this as being grouped together with “desu” 「です」 to form a single phrase meaning “being long” or “is long”. If we do this, we end up with a phrase that is comparable to other verbs, such as “nobimasu” (grow longer) from our previous example.

If we put them side-by-side…

This is simplifying things a little, but in order to make the highly irregular verb “desu” 「です」 somewhat comparable with every other verb, we will group “nagai” and “desu” 「です」 together to be a single phrase that describes a certain act of being.

Who or what is it that is “being long”? The thing marked by “ga” 「が」 → “ashi”.

As for him, the legs are long.

Now, let’s apply this approach to a few more confusing situations.

Coming from English, “suki” (like), “kirai” (hate) and “hoshī” (want) probably take some getting used to because they are adjectives, while their English equivalents are verbs. They are also often used in sentences that include both “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」, so let’s see how we can apply the context bubble to make better sense of them.

If we break this down as we did before, we can see that the same rules apply.

Who or what is performing that action? The word or phrase before “ga” 「が」, which is “sushi” 「すし」.

Our sentence so far is therefore:

Sushi is liked.

sushi ga suki desu.

すし が すき です。

Lastly, who or what are we talking about? The word or phrase before “wa” 「は」, which is “watashi”.

I hate natto.

watashi wa nattō ga kirai desu.

わたし は なっとう が きらい です。

Again, this is obviously very different from English, where these ideas are expressed as actions that we perform – we like, hate and want things in the same way that we do things. Hopefully, though, you can see how this is entirely consistent with other Japanese expressions, and that the roles of “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 are clear and consistent. They just take a bit (or a lot) of getting used to.

Bonus: The ~tai ~たい form of verbs

Verbs with the ~tai ~たい ending, such as “tabetai”, also work the same way as these adjectives because that’s exactly what they are. Let’s see an example:

I want to eat sushi.

Here’s what that looks like:

The verbs “arimasu” 「あります」 and “imasu” 「います」 can also be a little tricky, as they share similarities with “desu” 「です」 as well as all other verbs. We can, however, apply all of the principles we’ve covered so far in the same way.

Let’s start by looking at an example where “arimasu” 「あります」 is used just like any other verb that isn’t “desu” 「です」:

The first thing we need to make absolutely clear – just to be on the safe side – is that even though the English translation here uses the verb “is” or “to be”, it has a distinctly different meaning to when “desu” 「です」 was used.

While “desu” 「です」 is essentially used to equate two things as being the same (A = B), “arimasu” 「あります」 describes existence (as does “imasu” 「います」).

As such, we could kind of translate the above as, “Her bag exists in the classroom”. We could not, however, change our “desu” 「です」 example sentence to “His legs exist long”. These “to be” words mean very different things.

Now, if we put this “arimasu” 「あります」 sentence side-by-side with our example from earlier, we can see that they are very similar:

tarō wa hon wo kaimashita.

kanojo no kaban wa kyōshitsu ni arimasu.

かのじょ の カバン は きょうしつ に あります。

Who/what is performing the action in each of these sentences?

As these are the person/thing performing the action, they could be marked by “ga” 「が」, but as we have learned, this would emphasise them too much.

Instead, we use “wa” 「は」 to define them as our topic, essentially demoting them to the context bubble. Then, using that context bubble, we describe the important information that we actually want to communicate:

However, “arimasu” 「あります」 and “imasu” 「います」 are also sometimes used in sentences that include both “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」, and this is where it can get confusing.

Fortunately, our same rules apply – “wa” 「は」 defines/clarifies the context bubble, and “ga” 「が」 defines the thing that is performing the act of “being” (or, if it’s easier, “existing”).

For example:

This reflects a broader cultural and linguistic difference that actually shapes the way we view the world. Generally:

In English, people do and own things.

In Japanese, things happen and exist.

I’ve often thought about the chicken-and-egg situation that this represents – did the Japanese culture of indirectness evolve due to the structure of the language, or did the language evolve to make vague expression easier? I suspect the answer is both, as ultimately, language is culture.

Key take-aways

Here are the main lessons I hope you can take from this article:

Particles like “ga” 「が」, “wo” 「を」 and “ni” 「に」 define how certain things relate to the action, while “wa” 「は」 tells us what is being talked about in the sentence

There are two main things that determine the meaning of what we communicate – context, and new/important information

Marking something as the subject using “ga” classifies it as new/important information, giving it emphasis

“wa” 「は」 allows us to redefine or clarify some or all of the context before stating new/important information

“wa” 「は」 shifts the emphasis of the sentence away from the word or phrase it is marking, and onto the information the follows

Of course, this doesn’t cover absolutely everything. Entire books have been written about “wa” and “ga” 「は」 and 「が」 simply because there are so many different variables at play in any given situation.

Hopefully, though, you now have a better understanding of the difference between these two essential particles, and will be able to apply these lessons much more widely than I have here.

Japanese Particle Ga (が) For Introduction

There are many meanings for Japanese particle ga (が) and one of the common meanings is “but” which is used as a connector of 2 sentences.

In the following example, it is used to connect a positive-meaning phrase and a negative-meaning word into one sentence.

あのレストランの料理はおいしいです が、高いです。ano resutoran no ryouri wa oishii desu ga, takai desu

Meaning: The food of that restaurant is delicious but expensive.

In this lesson, you will see that the particle ga can be used as an introduction in the first sentence without the meaning of “but”. Sometimes it’s also known as ” Introduction のが“.

Sentence Pattern

Let’s see the sentence pattern on how to use が in this case…

(Introduction) Sentence1 が Sentence2

In this sentence pattern, Sentence2 is always what you want to bring out. Sentence1 is just a kind of introduction.

For example…

When you are asking a question to someone, normally you will say “excuse me” first, then you ask the question.

In Japanese, you will normally put すみませんが (sumimasen ga) as some kind of introduction before you ask the actual question.

Another example…

Similarly, you want to ask “how much is this?” to the shop assistance, but you will first say すみませんが (sumimasen ga) as some kind of introduction before you ask the actual question.

More examples on Japanese particle ga が for Introduction

In example 1, you want to say the sushi you have eaten was very delicious.

Before that, you started the sentence by saying you ate the sushi last night – ゆうべすしを食べましたが (yuube sushi wo tabemashita ga). It’s kind of an introduction sentence before you bring out the theme that the sushi was very delicious.

In example 2, your main aim is to ask your teacher to teach you something.

Before that, you started with an introduction sentence that you don’t understand about a portion – ここが分からないのですが (koko ga wakaranai no desu ga), and then continue to ask your teacher to teach you.

You will use this sentence pattern of Japanese particle ga frequently over the phone.

In example 3, when talking over the phone, you first introduce yourself before asking for the person you want to talk to.

In this example, you will say your name is Tanaka (for example) – 田中ですが (tanaka desu ga), then you ask for Mr Yamada – 山田さんはいますか (yamada san wa imasu ka).

In example 4, your want to know “what is that tall building?” – あれは何ですか (are wa nan desu ka).

But before you make the question, you describe what building you are talking about ending with the particle ga – あそこに高いビルが見えますが (asoko ni takai biru ga miemasu ga).

It works as an introduction before you ask the actual question.

Summary

In summary, the particle ga が here works as an introduction before you bring out the actual thing you want to say. The native Japanese used this very frequently in their daily dialogues.

Related Pages

Basic Lesson 11: Basic Particles.

Basic Lesson 14: Particles Change in Negative Answers.

Basic Lesson 15: Particles ka (か) and mo (も) with Question Words.

Basic Lesson 16: Particles to (と) and de (で).

Basic Lesson 24: Particles wa (は) and ga (が).

Basic Lesson 27: Particle to (と) for quotation.

Lesson 18: Particle de (で) with more functions.

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Nam Ga Noi Chuyen Ga

Con gà đã từ lâu quen thuộc với người Việt Nam. Gà là vật nuôi để góp phần cải thiện cuộc sống của nhà nông . Nhờ có Gà mà nhà nông có được đồng vô đồng ra giúp việc chi tiêu cho gia đình những lúc khó khăn cần được tháo gỡ. Gà góp phần đắc lực trong các bữa tiệc tùng, liên hoan, giỗ chạp thêm sôm tụ.Thịt gà hình như không thể thiếu trong ngày trọng đại như cưới hỏi, cúng bái, gặp gở người thân. Ăn thịt gà vừa ngon, vừa bổ, lại không bị hại với người có cholesterol cao.

Ở Việt Nam, gà được nuôi từ rất lâu, nơi nào cũng nuôi gà và nuôi rất dẽ. Gà không kén thức ăn, chủ yếu là ngũ cốc như thóc gạo, bắp đậu, chúng cũng tự đào bới tìm kiếm thức ăn như giun dế, cào cào…gà lớn nhanh và đẻ nhiều trứng . Có nhiều loại gà được nuôi dưỡng ớ nước ta song phổ biến là các loại gà sau đây:

Là loại gà từng xuất hiện trong truyền thuyết Sơn Tinh – Thủy Tinh, là một trong những lễ vật thách cưới của Công chúa Mỵ Nương. Gà Chin Cựa, ai cũng nghĩ không có trong thực tế, ít ai biết rằng, đây là một giống gà đặc sản có thật, được nuôi tại nhiều thôn bản thuộc xã Xuân Sơn, huyện Tân Sơn của vùng đất tổ Phú Thọ.

Giống gà này có kích cỡ nhỏ, thường không quá 1,5kg, mào đỏ tươi như máu, đuôi cong vút tựa cầu vồng và rất mảnh. Chúng có đặc điểm chân to, chắc và mọc đều 3, 4 cựa mỗi bên. Mỗi cựa dài, ngắn khác nhau, mọc nối theo hàng. Đặc biệt, cựa trên cùng hoàn toàn chỉ là sừng, cong vút như lưỡi câu liêm hay nanh lợn độc.

Gà có đầy đủ chín cựa thì hiếm vô cùng. Từ xưa đến nay, số gà có đủ chín cựa chỉ đếm được trên đầu ngón tay và nhà nào sở hữu gà chín cựa thì chả khác nào có được con gà bằng vàng ròng. Với con gà đủ chín cựa, gia chủ có thể phát giá thoải mái, đại gia nào có thú sưu tầm của lạ, sẽ sẵn sàng mua với bất kỳ giá nào.

Thịt gà 9 cựa có mùi vị rất đặc biệt mà khó diễn tả bằng lời. Thịt thường được đặt trên mẹt tre hấp cách thủy, ăn cùng bánh dầy như một món ăn đặc trưng của miền đất Tổ.

2-Gà Đông Cảo (hay Đông Tảo)

Là loại gà quý hiếm của Việt Nam, do dân làng Đông Tảo (huyện Khoái Châu, Hưng Yên) tuyển chọn, thuần dưỡng từ lâu đời. Tương truyền đây là của ngon vật lạ cúng tiến Vua Chúa thời xưa. Vua Chúa thời nào cũng vậy, toàn được thưởng thức các của ngon, vật hiếm.

Gà Đông Cảo trưởng thành, thường nặng từ 5-7 kg/con, đầu hình gộc tre, thân giống con cóc, cánh như hai con trai úp, đuôi như nơm úp cá, mào mâm xôi, da đỏ chót, cơ bắp cuồn cuộn, đặc biệt là có chân to sần sùi như chân voi.

Giống gà này đòi hỏi kỳ công chăm sóc và khó nuôi. Gà càng già càng quý, thịt ăn thường có mùi vị thơm ngon đặc trưng không lẫn với bất kỳ loại gà nào. Một con gà Đông Cảo to thường được chế biến 7- 10 món như luộc, nấu đông, xáo măng, quay chảo, nướng lá chanh…

Nhưng có lẽ, thơm ngon nhất, độc đáo nhất là món ngon từ cặp chân voi mà người sành ăn ví von là món “vảy rồng hầm thuốc bắc”: Lớp vảy dày khi hầm vẫn giữ được độ sần sật, không bị mềm nhũn. Khi hầm thuốc bắc, đầu bếp thường ninh luôn hai hòn “ngọc kê” của chú gà trống để nước hầm được thơm ngọt.

Thôn Lạc Thổ thuộc thị trấn Hồ của tỉnh Bắc Ninh là nơi bảo tồn một loại gà khổng lồ quý hiếm, đó là gà Hồ, giống gà nổi tiếng được dùng để tiến Vua một thời. Là một giống gà có thể trọng to lớn, gà Hồ có thể nặng tới 10kg/con khi trưởng thành.

Các điểm đặc trưng khác của gà Hồ là có ức đỏ tươi trụi lông, phao câu rất ngắn và chĩa thẳng lên trời , thay vì mọc ngang như các giống gà khác.

Người thôn Lạc Thổ coi gà Hồ là một báu vật nên không kinh doanh giống gà này. Họ nuôi gà Hồ như nuôi linh vật trong nhà và đem làm quà trong những dịp hiếu hỷ hay lễ, Tết. Tuy vậy, gà Hồ đã được nhân nuôi tại một số cơ sở ngoài thôn, dù nhiều người cho rằng chất lượng không thể bằng gà Hồ trên đất Lạc Thổ.

Dù to lớn nhưng thịt gà Hồ không nhạt nhẽo giống như gà công nghiệp mà ngược lại có mùi thơm kỳ lạ và vị ngọt dịu khó quên, vừa mềm, vừa dai, ăn mãi không chán.

Gà Mía có ở vùng đất cổ Đường Lâm (Hà Nội).Gà Mía là giống gà được dùng làm lễ vật dâng thần thánh, cung tiến Vua Chúa ngày xưa, và sau này là nét văn hóa ẩm thực độc đáo của địa phương.

Giống gà này có đầu nhỏ, mình vuông; lúc còn nhỏ, da có màu đỏ au như trái gấc chín nhưng khi nuôi đạt trọng lượng khoảng 2 kg trở lên, da chuyển sang màu vàng. Gà trống trưởng thành nặng từ 5 – 6 kg, gà mái nặng từ 2,7 – 3,2 kg.

Khi trưởng thành ở má ngoài chân gà trống có một vệt màu đỏ từ trên xuống đến ngón chân trông giống như sợi chỉ.

Thịt gà Mía thơm ngon, được nhiều người tiêu dùng ưa chuộng. Nếu lần đầu tiên được thưởng thức gà Mía, sẽ khó ai có thể quên được vị ngọt, đậm đà dai thịt chứ không mềm, nhũn như gà công nghiệp và cũng không dai quá như gà ta, mà dai mềm, thơm thịt, chỉ ăn một lần là nhớ mãi.

Từ xa xưa, gà Tò từng được biết đến như một loại gà “tiến vua” nổi tiếng của vùng quê Quỳnh Phụ (Thái Bình). Trải qua hai cuộc chiến tranh, giống gà quý hiếm này đã gần như bị tuyệt chủng. Trong vài năm năm trở lại đây, nhờ những nỗ lực của Viện Chăn nuôi Quốc gia mà giống gà này đã được nhân giống trở lại.

Đặc điểm ngoại hình gà Tò có thân hình chắc, khoẻ, chân cao. Gà mái trưởng thành có lông màu đỏ pha lẫn màu vàng đen, nặng 2,2 – 3kg/con. Gà trống trưởng thành cao to, lông màu đỏ tía, chân cao, nặng 4 – 5kg.

Đặc trưng của gà Tò thuần chủng là có lông suốt từ khuỷu chân xuống, gọi là “lông quần”. Phía sau gối gà trống có thêm một chòm lông như đuôi quạ, gọi là “lông gối”. Không có lông chân thì không phải là gà Tò.

Vì gà Tò có thịt ngon và rất quý hiếm nên chúng luôn được các nhà hàng sang trọng ở các thành phố lớn hoặc các khách hàng khá giả săn tìm mua hoặc đặt hàng định kỳ. Ngoài ra nhiều người cũng săn lùng chúng để nuôi làm cảnh hoặc gà chọi.

6-Gà Tây, còn có tên gà Lôi (tên khoa học Meleagris Gallopavo), có nguồn gốc từ gà Tây rừng sống ở Bắc Mỹ và Mêxicô. Trước đây, người Đà Lạt rất xa lạ với loại gà to lớn, trông khác thường, có nguồn gốc hoang dã; nhưng hiện nay, loại gia cầm này được nhiều người biết đến gắn với tên một tỷ phú nông dân có biệt danh: “Hải gà Tây”…

7-Gà Nòi- Gà người ta nuôi cá độ, chính là giống gà tốt. Tuy nhiên đề có một loại gà đá thật sự, việc chăm sóc vô cùng quan trọng, nhất là việc cho ăn .

Khi Gà bắt đầu vào chế độ chiến phải tuyệt đối cẩn thận và lưu ý đến thức ăn của gà. Thóc (Lúa) hạt đãi sạch vỏ chấu sau đó ngân với nước từ 8 – 12 giời rồi xả nước để ráo, trộn thóc với men tiêu hóa và các loại viatamin khoáng chất mua tại hiệu thuốc thú y theo liều lượng chỉ dẫn gà ăn. Nước uống ngày cho gà uống 2 lần vào buổi sáng và buổi tối trước khi gà đi ngủ, mùa đông không cho uống nước vì trong thóc ngâm đã có lượng một nước nhất định. Khi đã cho gà vào chế độ chiến rồi là tối kỵ có mỡ thừa và trong cơ thể nhiều nước. Sáng sớm cho gà ăn thóc đến chiều cho ăn rau xanh hoặc giá đỗ, tối trước khi đi ngủ cho gà ăn thóc xong thì cho gà uống nước để sáng ra tiêu hóa hết thóc trong bầu diều. Một tuần cho gà uống 2 – 3 viên thuốc bổ nhóm B như là viên nén tổng hợp, thêm ít thịt cá nấu chín (Chú ý tránh cho ăn nhiều quá làm gà tăng cân) và một vài nhánh tỏi tươi giúp cho gà tiêu hóa tốt cũng như tránh được gió má. Giá của những con gà chiến thường rất cao từ một hai triệu đến hàng chục triệu đống.

Gà Đòn hay còn gọi là gà không cựa, hoặc cựa mọc không dài, chỉ lú ra như hạt bắp, là loại gà cổ trụi, chân cao, cốt lớn dùng để đá chân trơn hoặc bịt cựa. Gà Đòn được chia ra hai loại rõ rệt. Đó là loại gà mã lại (còn gọi mã mái) và gà mã chỉ. Gà này lớn con được dùng theo thuật đá đòn bịt cựa. Danh từ “gà đòn” phát xuất từ miền Trung đựơc dùng để gọi riêng loại gà đá đòn bằng quản và bàn chân. Ngày nay danh từ gà đòn đã được công chúng dùng một cách rộng rãi để gọi chung các loại gà nòi đấu ở trường gà đòn trong đó có những loại gà miền nam có cựa dài và biết xử dụng cựa.

Ở miền Trung, đá gà là thú tiêu khiển của người lam lũ, khi hết mùa đồng áng mới bắt tay vào việc chơi gà. Bởi lẽ tiền bạc khó kiếm nên dân miền Trung thích chơi gà đòn, – một độ dầu ăn hay thua cũng kéo dài suốt mấy giờ đồng hồ, có khi suốt ngày. Vì chuyên về gà Đòn nên dân miền Trung tuyển chọn cản gà khiến gà bị nín cựa, mọc chậm và ngắn. Nếu con nào có cựa mọc dài cũng sẽ bị cưa hoặc mài ngắn. Khi cựa mới lú cũng bị chủ gà bấm cựa khiến cựa bị tầy đầu, không lú ra đựơc.

Nói chung thì lối đá của gà Đòn khác hẳn gà Cựa. Gà Đòn dùng quản và bàn chân để quất. Gà Cựa thì dùng cựa để đâm. Cựa của gà đòn có gốc to và mọc rất chậm so với gà cựa. Gà Đòn chín tháng tuổi thì cựa cũng chỉ bằng hạt bắp.

9-Gà Cựa là lọai gà nhỏ và nhẹ hơn với bô lông phát triển đầy đủ và có cựa bén nhọn và dài. Gà cựa phát xuất từ miền Nam và được đa số người miền Nam yêu chuộng đá gà theo lối gà cựa. Nghệ thuật chơi gà cựa không được phổ thông ngòai miền Trung Phần và Bắc Phần. Theo truyền thống xa xưa thì gà cựa được thả cho đá với cựa tự nhiên mọc ra nhưng ngày nay các tay chơi đá gà cựa đã biến hóa và tháp cựa căm (cựa nhọn làm bằng căm xe), hay cựa dao cho các trận gà sanh tử. Những đặc điểm khác của gà cựa cũng khác nhiều khi so với gà Đòn

10- Gà Công Nghiệp

Là loại gà được nhập vào nước ta trong những năm gần đây như gà Lơ Go , gà Tây, gà Tam Hoàng.. những loại gà này to con, ăn nhiều chủ yấu là cám công nghiệp , lớn nhanh nhưng thịt không ngon bằng giống gà bản địa

Người ta nuôi gà để bán lấy tiền trang trải cho cuộc sống và để lấy trứng, làm thịt. Trong thời kỳ kinh tế khó khăn của những năm 80-90, nhà nhà đều nuôi loại gà Lơ Go để lấy thịt và lấy trứng, nếu nuôi tốt gà Lơ Go cho tỷ lệ đẻ trứng trên 80%. Trong các bữa tiệc tùng, giỗ chạp không thể thiếu thịt gà. Thịt gà được người ta chế biến ra nhiều món như thịt gà luộc, xé phay, gà gán, gà rô ti, nấu cháo….Nghe nói có đầu bếp chế biến ra từ 15 đến 19 món ngon từ một con gà. Toàn bộ con gà người ta đều sử hết, hầu như không bỏ tý nào. Lông gà để làm chổi, lòng gà để chế biến các món xào, xương thịt để ăn hay nấu cháo. Thịt gà ăn mát, bổ dưỡng, người bị cholesterol cao ăn thịt gà không sao.

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